So, just yesterday I posted that I was visiting the Donkle’s spacious home and getting acquainted with the family. I had met Natasha, their reclusive cat, under the comforter in the master bedroom. I also had run into Jarmila, the maid, who had taken exception to my helping her make a bed, resulting in a lamp being knocked over. I expected to be blamed for this. I met Richard Jr., and his girlfriend, Hallie, and we watched a movie together for a while. Richard Sr., “Donk” as he likes to call himself, decided my name is Sambo. I was just getting ready to leave when I discovered that the patio door where I had entered the house had been closed, so I was deciding what to do next. I was in the kitchen when I overheard Jarmila talking in the hallway. As I have told you, I don’t understand Polish, but I had no doubt that she was talking about her interaction with me and the resultant damage to the lamp shade. I heard the phrase “czarny kot” several times. She uttered the phrase with venomous feeling. She was speaking with Bianca, Donk’s wife, and the two of them headed off to view the scene of the crime. Moments later Donk walked in, Joker trailing behind him. Donk got out a bag of dry dog food and dumped some into a bowl. He looked up and saw me.
“Well, hello, Sambo. Are you still here?” He opened the refrigerator and got out some heavy cream and put it in a bowl for me. I had become a little hungry, so I was grateful for the treat. And what a treat! I never got anything at home that was nearly so wonderful. Bianca came back into the kitchen. She looked at me with suspicion.
“Oh, there he is,” she said. “Richard, what are you feeding that cat?”
“Just some cream,” he replied. “Cats love the stuff.”
“Don’t feed that cat. Mila told me he knocked over a lamp in Richie’s room. If you feed him we will never get rid of him.” She cast a disapproving, mildly disgusted look in my direction.
“Sambo is a good cat,” said Donk. “I like him.” Joker came over and wanted to share the cream, so I let her. She was a pleasant, non-aggressive dog. Other dogs and people should be more like Joker.
“Mila was going to use that cream to make a pie,” she said.
“I’ll pick some more up on my way home. I have to go,” said Donk. “Homeowner’s Association meeting tonight.” He grabbed a light jacket from a closet off the foyer and left through the front door.
I had heard Mike and Judy talk about the Homeowner’s Association. A controversy had come up about a plan, instigated by Richard Donkle Sr., to transition Happy Meadows into a gated community. Donk thought that “undesirables” were coming through the neighborhood and putting the residents and their property at risk. He was encountering opposition from many residents, Mike and Judy included, who rightly pointed out that the only police calls to the neighborhood involved the residents themselves. A few noise complaints from residents about unruly teenagers whose drunken parties spilled out onto the front lawn from time to time, or the periodic calls from the Kings whose domestic disputes sometimes got out of hand. Things like that. There was also nothing in the budget for Donk’s project. He was proposing that the city pay for it, saying that the safety and well-being of the Happy Meadows residents were jeopardized by the riff-raff, thieves, and rapists from outside the bounds of Happy Meadows. So far, the city council had refused to even discuss his request, and no one thought it would happen. So that would mean a special assessment of the residents. No one thought that would happen either. People find things to dispute about that would never interest a cat. But at some level, it comes from a sense of territoriality and personal and community space that people share with the four-leggeds of the world. For cats, it is much less about community space than for dogs or people. We are much more independent and self-contained, generally speaking. But anxiety about safety seems to be an innate characteristic of living things. It makes sense. At some level it is all about survival……eat or be eaten. Even one-celled creatures that can propel themselves have only two options: move towards a stimulus (eat or mate) or away from it (pain or be eaten). It is the basis of all tribal warfare and xenophobia. Fortunately, cats have evolved beyond this primitive way of existing for the most part, but many people remain mired in this destructive nonsense. They even have religious disputes, rivalries, and even wars, completely overlooking the imperative that God has placed on humans to love each other and take care of the world, and especially, to care for cats.
So, there I was, looking like I was going to spend the evening with the Donkles. I groomed myself there in the foyer, because whenever cats are indecisive, we cover it up by appearing to engage in purposeful activity. The front doorbell rang. Richie opened the door and let in 3 of his friends, 2 girls and a young man. The hair on the back of my neck bristled. I picked up a bad vibe as they came into the house and headed downstairs. I decided to follow them and see what they were up to.